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News and Announcements

  • Submitted on 13 August 2010

    Each year, the President of the United States proclaims a National Minority Enterprise Development (MED) Week to formally recognize minority-owned businesses for their professional achievements and their contributions to the Nation’s economy. 

    The National MED Week Conference, hosted by the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), is the largest federally sponsored event held to spotlight minority business development. This hallmark event brings together nearly 2,000 minority-owned businesses from across the country to participate in a series of educational, training, and business to business matchmaking events designed to help grow and thrive in a continually changing economy.

  • Submitted on 22 July 2010

    The goals and objectives of the program are to provide competitively awarded grant funds for research science buildings through the construction of new buildings or expansion of existing buildings. “Research science building” means a building or facility whose purpose is for the conduct of scientific research, including laboratories, test facilities, measurement facilities, research computing facilities, and observatories. U.S. institutions of higher education and non-profit science research organizations are eligible to apply.

    The NIST grants will fund new or expanded facilities for scientific research in fields related to measurement science, oceanography, atmospheric research or telecommunications, the research fields of the Commerce Department’s three science agencies: NIST, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). Candidate projects could include laboratories, test facilities, measurement facilities, research computing facilities or observatories.

  • Submitted on 22 July 2010

    WASHINGTON – U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced $9.9 million in grants to provide training and other services to minority- and women-owned businesses in 33 states to help them compete for highway contracts.

    “The U.S. Department of Transportation has an excellent history of reaching out to small businesses owned by women, veterans and minorities,” said Secretary LaHood. “Nearly half the contracts we award each year go to these types of firms.”

    The “Disadvantaged Business Enterprise/Supportive Service (DBE/SS)” grants are part of an ongoing federal effort to help state departments of transportation train certified DBE firms on subjects ranging from contract and business management, to procurement assistance and how to secure bonding. The goal of the program is to help them successfully compete for federal highway projects.

  • Submitted on 19 July 2010

    WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 4, 2010) – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services today issued regulations establishing the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program in the Affordable Care Act. The new law provides $5 billion in financial assistance to employers to help them maintain coverage for early retirees age 55 and older who are not yet eligible for Medicare.

    Employers can use the savings to either reduce their own health care costs, provide premium relief to their workers and families, or a combination of both. Employers who are accepted into the program will receive reinsurance reimbursement for medical claims for eligible retirees and their spouses, surviving spouses and dependents.

  • Submitted on 19 July 2010


    WASHINGTON (Tuesday, May 4, 2010) – The Commerce Department is recruiting leaders from the private sector to serve on the National Advisory Council on Minority Business Enterprise (NACMBE). The council will provide advice and guidance to the Secretary of Commerce on key issues, including policies that would best position minority-owned firms to compete in the global economy: access to capital, expanded participation in emerging industries, and improved access to the global supply chains of the world’s largest corporations.

    “We want the best leaders to come up with strategies to positively influence minority-owned businesses across the nation,” Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said. “Expanding the minority business community will help economic growth over the long term. These businesses are creating jobs in our communities and we need to help them continue this trend.” 

  • Submitted on 19 February 2010

    Story Published: Feb 19, 2010 LAS VEGAS

    The new American economy and the unique opportunities it holds for the American Indian business world is the focus of RES 2010. The annual business conference, hosted by the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development, takes place at the Las Vegas Hilton Feb. 21 – 24.

    Hundreds of Indian entrepreneurs are scheduled to attend. “We’ve made it through a challenging economic year to see development and growth in a wide variety of areas,” said Margo Gray-Proctor, the Osage chairwoman of NCAIED and president of Horizon Engineering Services Co. “We’ve learned that we could go down the sink in a swirl, or we could do something that no one else has done as we turn around. And we’re doing it.” Even given the economic downturn, Gray-Proctor said this is the largest RES to date – a feat she and her executive committee accomplished by trimming budgets, working long hours, and networking to the max. Approximately 480 tribes are expected to be represented.

  • Submitted on 29 September 2009

    (Special to New America Media from China Press) — The growth of minority-owned small businesses will be one of the main forces driving the U.S. economy forward, reports the China Press.

    At the 2009 Minority Business Summit, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke explained that the Minority Business Development Agency aims to grow the number of small businesses in ethnic communities to reflect the country’s changing demographics. This could lead to the creation of 16 million jobs, $2.5 trillion in annual revenue and $100 billion in tax income, reports the China Press. Representing 99.7 percent of all business, small business is the backbone of the U.S. economy, the newspaper reports.

  • Submitted on 29 September 2009

    WASHINGTON (TheStreet) -- The Commerce Department is working to find new ways to help small businesses and entrepreneurs find new markets for their products by revamping its counseling programs, financing tools and other assistance.

    U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Gary Locke says the agency plans to create "one-stop shop" business advocacy centers across the nation to help small firms get the best government help that they can. The centers will operate as central contact points for every Commerce program available to business owners.

    Small businesses are so overwhelmed with issues like trying to meet payroll that they can't be expected to have a consultant on board to navigate all the government's services and programs. He made the comments after a Thursday speech at the Minority Enterprise Development Conference in Washington.

  • Submitted on 25 August 2009

    Minority Business Development chief: Get big or get bought
    The fastest way to improve the prospects of minority-owned businesses is to persuade more owners to get on the M&A bandwagon, the head of the government's development efforts says.

    (CNNMoney.com) -- David Hinson is the new administrator of the Minority Business Development Agency, a branch of the U.S. Department of Commerce that helps minority entrepreneurs start and grow their companies. Hinson, who started in July, was previously president and CEO of Wealth Management Network, an investment advisory firm in New York City.

    The agency's top goal is to achieve entrepreneurial "economic parity," matching the percentage of businesses owned by minorities with their representation in the U.S. population. If that target is reached, MBDA believes minority companies would generate $2.5 trillion in annual revenues, create 16 million jobs and contribute $100 billion in annual taxes. Today, the nation's 4 million minority-owned firms have revenue of around $660 billion and employ 4.7 million workers.

  • Submitted on 13 May 2009

    Federal News Service May 12, 2009 Tuesday

    MS. GAMBRELL: Thank you for that kind introduction and it's an honor to be here today. I serve as the Director of the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund, an agency of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, promoting economic development and opportunities for organizations, including minority businesses, across the country. The CDFI Fund's mission is very similar to the objectives of this Capital Access Forum - to expand the capacity of financial institutions to provide credit, capital, and financial services to underserved populations and economically distressed communities within the United States. As such, I welcome the opportunity to speak before you here today, and to discuss our shared vision, by showing you the ways in which we are committed to seeing minority-owned enterprises succeed.

    Before I begin however, I would like share a brief story. A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to visit Detroit and Lansing, Michigan, for a two-day trip to view firsthand how the CDFI Fund's New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) Program is providing needed jobs and support to local businesses. It would be very difficult for me now to describe the economic conditions that I saw firsthand during my visit, but what stood out the most was the entrepreneurial spirit of the small business that was remarkably resilient.

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